Skip to main content

Full text of "Alexander von Humboldt"

See other formats


WXULJJO!  VOX   HtniBOLBT.                  303
The prince regent was very partial to Hurnboldt,
and distinguished him by treating him with great
cordiality. The London Courier of the 28th March,
1818, states: "On Saturday, the prince regent
honoured a splendid dinner, given Tby the Prussian
ambassador, Freiherr von Hranboldt, by his presence.
He declared Ms wish that the old English heartiness
should reign at the table., and sang two songs himself
after the cloth had been withdrawn."
In business, indeed,, the old toryism reigned^ and
Castlereagh was still foreign, minister. But the oppo-
sition was already powerful in the parliament, and
the changes commenced which subsequently brought
Canning to the head of affairs. The affairs to which
Humboldt principally devoted his time in London,
ivere the constituting measures against the !&arba-
reskSj in order to put a stop to piracy on the north
coast of Africa. Then Humboldt signed a treaty for
the extinction of the slave trade, promising than
Prussia would support England's right of search, with
the other powers of the continent, And3 finally,,
Humboldt was active in the organization of the
Prussian loan of 181 S.
Shortly after Ms arrival in London, Humboldt
determined soon to resign Ms post. His wife had
written to him. that her health would not allow her to
reside in the damp climate of England., and such a
separation, for any length of time? was insupportable
to Humboldt. He therefore requested to "be dismissed
from Ms post in the spring of 1818.
But now the ingratitude towards him was plainly
shown. In ISTovember of the former year, the mi-
nistry of worship and public instruction had been
given to the Freiherr von Altenstein, and now, as if
there were not a man in the country fitted, for the
post? a foreigner was summoned to fill the office of
foreign minister. Every one had expected that this
place would be given to the man who had served Ms
country so faithfully and effectively in the most
difficult times ; and the chancellor had even promised